With stunning views of snow-capped Mount Fuji, gorgeous beaches, and hot spring resorts, coastal Shizuoka is one of Japan’s most beautiful prefectures. Home to some of the earliest blooming cherry blossoms in Japan, springtime in Shizuoka is stunning, especially in the onsen hot spring resort town of Kawazu, which is known for cherry blossoms. Another city on Shizuoka’s Izu Peninsula that deserves a stop is Atami, a popular onsen resort spot with several wacky museums and attractions, including the Hihokan (“Atami Adult Museum”) and the Kabocha (Pumpkin) Museum which centers on the avant-garde works of Yayoi Kusama. Surfers will revel in the waves at Shirahama Beach, while beach bums languish in the sun. And, right on Shirahama Beach, you’ll be awestruck by the sight of the 2400-year-old Shirahama Jinja Shrine’s red torii gate standing against the crashing waves. Or, you can test your endurance by climbing Mt. Fuji in the late summer months.
The natural beauty of Shizuoka extends to fantastic natural resources and agriculture as well, with Shizuoka producing the highest quantity and quality green tea of any region in Japan. The climate is also uniquely suited to growing wasabi, which thrives in cool, shady streams, and Shizuoka also makes some of the juiciest mikan (mandarin oranges) that money can buy. The western side of Shizuoka is famous for unagi (eel), a luxury dish in Japan. Shizuoka also has the most ryokan (traditional Japanese inns) of any prefecture in Japan. Paired with a long soak in the onsen and an elaborate kaiseki cuisine meal featuring fresh seasonal produce, a trip to Shizuoka is the pinnacle of relaxation.
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